Recent Comments

    Hanging In To Win

    kaiwayWow, we’re in December again already! Sports enthusiasts love drama and victory, and Bay Area fans were treated to good doses of both in recent weeks—in ways that I think we can not only enjoy, but also learn from as we move into the last month of yet another year. Even if your inner-athlete is still in the closet, and sports results aren’t your passion, please read on! These stories are true, fun, current and inspiring. The miracles that happen, the ecstasies and agonies and back to ecstasies, are enough to encourage anyone. And messages such as “never give up,” “keep giving it your all,” “you win some, you lose some,” and “it ain’t over til it’s over” are vital for everyone. We have almost a full month of 2014 to go, and many surprises and good things may still be in store, if we’re up for them!

    So here goes:

    One month ago, the San Francisco Giants clinched the 2014 World Series with a tight 3–2 win in the last game of the best-of-seven series. Victory wasn’t assured until the last inning, the last out, and the last pitch by SF ace Madison Bumgarner.

    At a home game on November 17th, the Stanford women’s basketball team won a shocking overtime thriller against top-ranked rival University of Connecticut. Stanford tied the game in the last 2 seconds with a miraculous 3-point shot, then won in the last second of overtime to break UConn’s historic 47-game winning streak. Just days later, the women from Texas shocked Stanford when they hit a jump-shot as regular time expired to tie the game, then scored big in overtime to win. Both games epitomized spine-tingling turnarounds, all in the last minutes and moments.

    On November 9th, quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers all the way downfield to the 1-yard line for the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes against the St. Louis Rams, only to lose the ball and game on a goal line fumble. It was an agony felt all around town and by the league. The very next week, in a must-win game against the New Orleans Saints, the 49ers were trailing by 3 points in the last 2 minutes, stuck deep in their own territory on 4th down. Kaepernick was chased all over the backfield and almost out-of-bounds when he somehow launched a 50-yard bomb-throw that was miraculously caught close enough for a game-tying field goal! Then, in overtime, a Niner’s defender managed to strip the ball from the New Orleans’ quarterback and propel San Francisco to overtime victory, keeping playoff hopes alive.

    A friend emailed this report from the November 20th football game at the Oakland Coliseum: “Raiders win! 24-20! With 5-mins left & behind 17–20, Oakland drives the field to score. With 1:42 left, the Chiefs make a go of it down to the 30-yd line, but were stopped by the Raiders. Good soaking of rain in the 2nd qtr then drizzle. Everyone stood up the whole game; I don’t think anyone left the stadium til it was over. (I’ll dry out in a day or two.)”

    LPGA Tour player Christina Kim, who hails from San Jose, won her first tournament since 2005 on the 2nd hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico. She led the golf tournament from the start, but lost her 5-stroke last-day lead on the 17th hole to the stunning play of Chinese star ShenShen Feng. Kim missed a short winning putt on the 18th green, then made a clutch putt on the first playoff hole and two great shots the next hole to seal her win. Kim’s victorious perseverance far transcended golf, as she has publicly shared her struggles in recent years overcoming the depths of suicidal depression.

    With these great stories in mind, and as 2014 is nearing closure, let’s take a little time out to ask: Is there somewhere or way in my life that I’m thinking it’s too late, or never going to happen, or impossible to turn things around, or there’s not enough time left? Sometimes we run out of steam nearing the finish line, or get discouraged and give up before the game’s over. So, for this December, I suggest that instead of the usual look at year-end reviews and New Year’s resolutions, let’s focus on what more amazing things might still happen!

    Jamie Zimron Sensei began Aikido training in 1975 at Stanford University and founded the Aikido Arts Center of San Francisco 1980–1994. She helped introduce Aikido in Russia, and to establish the Israel Women’s Martial Arts Federation. She is a co-founder of the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors and Middle East Aikido Project, and board member of Aiki Extensions. An LPGA Golf Pro, she won 3 gold medals in the 2009 and 2013 Maccabiah Games. Jamie Sensei is a psychologist, corporate leadership speaker, and peak performance trainer through her company The KiAi Way Inc. Her passion is spreading the Peaceful Power principles and practices of Aikido to bring positive change in people’s lives and in the world. Contact her at jamiesensei@thekiaiway.com